San Diego Amber Alert Over: Suspect Dead, Girl Found Alive

By: ABC News Email
By: ABC News Email

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

After a massive search in a remote area of Idaho, police have located a suspected killer and the 16-year-old girl he allegedly kidnapped. The girl was found safe but the alleged kidnapper was killed, police said.

Sheriff Bill Gore in San Diego County, Calif., said 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio was killed by an FBI agent at 4:22 p.m. Pacific time near a campsite. His captive, 16-year-old Hannah Anderson, "was located and appears well," he told reporters Saturday evening.

The search spanned three states and thousands of miles. The pair was found near Morehead Lake, in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, the largest roadless area in the lower 48 states, sprawling across central Idaho and reaching north to the Montana border, near the town of Cascade.

About 150 FBI agents converged on the region Saturday morning, joining roughly 100 law enforcement officers from the U.S. Marshal's Service, Idaho State Police, Valley and Ada County sheriff's offices, the San Diego Sheriff's Department and other agencies, the Associated Press reported.

Earlier, the body of a child found in the Southern California home of murder and kidnapping suspect DiMaggio was positively identified as 8-year-old Ethan Anderson, who was previously thought to have been abducted, the San Diego County Sheriff's department said. The boy's body was found after fire officials were called to put out a blaze at DiMaggio's home in Boulevard, Calif., and its detached garage at around 8 p.m. Aug. 4.

nside one of the burned buildings, they found the body of the boy's mother, Christina Anderson, 44, police said.

Investigators also found the badly burned body of a child while searching the scorched buildings, according to the sheriff's department, but did not confirm the body was Ethan until Friday night.

Authorities were able to identify the body after performing DNA analysis extracted through his bone marrow.

DiMaggio is suspected of killing Christina Anderson and her son, Ethan and then abducting her daughter, Hannah, 16, after setting his house on fire.

DiMaggio and Christina Anderson "were in a close platonic relationship," according to the sheriff's department, and officials said DiMaggio might have had an "unusual infatuation" with the teenage daughter.

An Amber Alert was in effect for both children on Friday until the second body recovered from the home where Christina Anderson was found was identified as belonging to Ethan.

An Amber Alert remains active for Hannah Anderson.

Hundreds of federal agents and police descended upon a remote, mountainous area of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho to further their search for DiMaggio and Hannah, who is believed to be in grave danger, the Ada County Sheriff's Office said.

"It is treacherous terrain. It is back country. It is wilderness," Ada County Sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Dearden told ABC News.

Investigators across local, state and federal agencies are combing more than 300 square miles of wilderness for signs of DiMaggio and Hannah, but search operations would be suspended this evening for "safety reasons," Dearden said in a news conference.

"At this point we know that any piece of information, any evidence, any clue is what we need to bring Hannah home safely," she said. "We are going to investigate every possible lead."

Authorities were tipped off to the remote area, located about 70 miles from Boise, after a horseback rider Wednesday reported seeing a man and a teenager matching the description of DiMaggio and Hannah.

"They did appear to have gear with them, they had camping equipment," Dearden said. "I think [the horseback rider] described the interaction as odd, but nothing alarming."

Dearden said she could not speak on DiMaggio's camping experience, nor did she know if he had visited the rugged region before. While she said investigators had "a good idea as to where he traveled as he made his way up from California," she declined to further elaborate.

DiMaggio's car was found covered in brush near Cascade, Idaho, on Friday, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said.

The blue Nissan Versa was found without license plates, but authorities were able to determine that the vehicle belonged to DiMaggio through its identification number, Gore said.

While police believed DiMaggio might be armed with explosives and could potentially use them to rig his vehicle or hideout, the Boise Police bomb squad did not find any explosive devices inside or near the car during their initial search Friday afternoon, Ada County Sheriff's spokesman Patrick Orr said.

In the Andersons' hometown of Lakeside, Calif., the siblings' father spoke at a candlelight vigil Friday night after news of Hannah broke.

"We hope that everything is going well to bring her home," Brett Anderson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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